Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Corridors of Commerce

Fostering Economic Growth with Transportation Investments

About the program

Corridors of Commerce logoTransportation contributes to a growing economy by supporting commerce. Transportation investments directly and indirectly foster economic growth through the provision of construction jobs and a commerce-friendly network of corridors to ship goods and provide mobility to citizens.

The 2013 Minnesota Legislature created the Corridors of Commerce program by authorizing the sale of up to $300 million in new bonds for the construction, reconstruction and improvement of trunk highways (2013 Session Law, Chapter 117, DOC 0.5 MB).

The program's goals are to:

  • Provide additional highway capacity on segments where there are currently bottlenecks in the system.
  • Iimprove the movement of freight and reduce barriers to commerce.

2014 funding

The Minnesota Legislature provided an additional $31.5 million in funding during the 2014 legislative session. Of that amount, $6.5 million is available now and $25 million will be available in fiscal year 2015. One of the primary intents of the legislation is to use the funding to prepare potential eligible projects for 2015 and beyond. Preparation can include right of way purchases, environmental work and planning. 

Funds available in FY 2015

  • MnDOT will invite public suggestions for additional projects.
  • MnDOT will consider projects in both Corridors of Commerce categories of enhancing capacity and preserving or improving  freight movement.
  • Making projects ready through environmental study, engineering or right of way purchasing will be a high priority.
  • Project readiness will be a less important criteria than it was in the 2013 program.
  • Right of way acquisition, environmental study and preliminary engineering are eligible costs for FY 2015 Corridors of Commerce funds.
  • 2015 projects are under review and may be announced in fall 2014.

The projects

Funded by 2013 legislation

Route

Project

Cost


Construction Start

Project Category

Hwy 2

Passing lanes from Cass Lake to Deer River

Estimate $8-10 million

2014

Freight Improvement

I-94

Lanes from MN 101 to MN 241

$28.3 million*

Work begins July 2014

IRC Capacity Development

Hwy 34

Passing lanes from Detroit Lakes to Nevis

Estimate $8-10 million*

2014

Freight Improvement

Hwy 14

4‐lane Hwy 218 to east of Steele County Road 43

$12 million*

Work begins July 7, 2014

IRC Capacity Development

Hwy 610

Realign and extend highway from County Road 81 and Elm Creek Boulevard to I-94

Estimate $100 million*

2014

Metro Capacity Development

Hwy 14

4‐lane N. Mankato to Nicollet

Estimate $20-28 million

2015

IRC Capacity Development

Hwy 14

Nicollet Bypass (4 lane)

Estimate $15-25 million

2015

IRC Capacity Development

I-694

Dynamic shoulder lane from Rice to Lexington

Estimate $35-$42 million

2015

Metro Capacity Development

Hwy 169

Itasca County. 4‐lane from 0.66 miles southwest of County Road 15 to 0.3 miles east of County Road 7

Estimate $9.5 million*

2016

Freight Improvement

Hwy 23

Passing lanes from Willmar to I-90

Estimate $13-19 million

2016

Freight Improvement

*Adjusted from original estimate

Funded by 2014 legislation - $6.5 million

       

Route

Project

Preliminary Cost Estimate
(millions)

Project Category

Hwy 14

Purchase right of way for expansion between Dodge Center and Owatonna

$1.5

IRC Capacity Development

Hwy 23

Environmental work to prepare Hwy 23 for future expansion from New London to Paynesville and Paynesville to Richmond

$1.5

IRC Capacity Development

Hwy 34

Center left turn lane in Detroit Lakes from Hwy 59 to County Road 141

$1.9

Freight Improvement

Hwy 2

Reconstruct segment of roadway in Deer River

$1.6

Freight Improvement

Additional information

Background on 2013 funding